Who Cares?

By , November 12, 2018

“I have no refuge; no one cares for my soul.”
Psalm 142:4

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My friend is a world class scholar in religious history and lectures in synagogues and temples as well as elsewhere on the Holocaust. For some years he had encouraged me to view the movie Schindler’s List.

I knew of its explicit footage of the atrocities committed against the Jewish people and so I resisted for some time. I accepted the fact that the Jews suffered horribly and thought my acknowledgement of the reality of their genocide was enough.

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“Promise me son”

By , November 11, 2018

“Woman behold your son”
John 19:26

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September 4 that year so long ago was a date I will never forget. It happens to be the birthday of my younger sister but that is not what I recall so vividly. In late August the specialist had told me, my brother, sister and mother that my 81 year old Dad only had a year or so to live. The others said they could not tell Dad the news and so I was elected to do it.

On September 1 we had brought him down from his cottage by ambulance as he had gone into third degree heart block and was completely disoriented. He did not know any of us the first couple of days. When I walked into his room that dark September 4 he looked with recognition at me. I asked him if he knew who I was and he responded that he did. Then I asked him if he knew where he was and he responded that he was in the hospital but did not know how he got there. Briefly I told him what had happened at the cottage days earlier.

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Finishing Well

By , November 10, 2018

“I have finished the race”
2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV)

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It is an appropriate matter to reflect on our past performance in life. Taking stock is always a worthwhile activity. To examine where we are, how we got there, and where we want to be, is the mark of a progressive thinking person. But while I heard regrets about past failures I became concerned at a lack of comment by him about changing the future.

Being stuck in the past can keep the best of people from improving their lot in life. For too many people, when they come to later life, there is a feeling of regret that more was not accomplished with their opportunities. The remarkable person who is quoted in our verse today is none other than the apostle Paul.

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The Blessing of Tears

By , November 9, 2018

“…we sat and wept”
Psalm 137:1

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There are those who think that we Canadians are too much like our British ancestors because we seek to “keep a stiff upper lip” in the face of adversity. Whether or not that is true may never been known. However, there are a lot of people in pain who work hard to keep from crying over their sad situation.

Is it right to fight the tears and always put on a brave front when out in public? What is it about crying that makes so many people desire to avoid it? Some people can recall that in childhood they were rewarded if they kept from crying when given an injection at the doctor’s office. Others remember hearing the statement, “Only babies cry.” Some people at least, have been programmed not to weep whatever the situation. We tend to regard as brave those who fight back their emotions at the graveside, and other scenes of sorrow.

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“You are his father?”

By , November 8, 2018

“I never knew you. Away from me”
Matthew 7:23

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An old saying goes like this, “It’s not what you know but who you know.” I think there is some truth to it. I recall being at a fundraising banquet in the summer of 2010 for the Haiti earthquake relief. I had several guests with me and we had a fine meal and lots of information about the disaster in Haiti in January 2010.

One of the speakers was an advanced care paramedic who happened to be my oldest son. The reason he was speaking was that he and his family had been doing medical work in Haiti at a relief mission when the earthquake struck. He had some amazing stories to tell us about the terror, the suffering, the frustrations, and the victories of that tragic time.

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